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When should you Start Outsourcing Order Fulfillment?


Businesses should consider outsourcing order fulfillment when they notice consistent growth in order volume that stretches the limits of their current capabilities. If fulfilling orders is taking up significant time that could be better spent on core business activities such as product development, marketing, and customer service, it’s likely time to outsource.

High order volumes can lead to logistical challenges, such as managing inventory, packaging, shipping, and handling returns. These tasks can overwhelm in-house resources, leading to delays and errors that can damage customer satisfaction and brand reputation. Added to this, seasonal spikes in orders can place additional pressure on an already strained system.

Outgoing costs should also be evaluated. Companies may find that the economies of scale enjoyed by specialized fulfillment providers can result in lower per-order costs due to optimized processes and lower shipping rates from carriers due to the volume of orders processed.

Outsourcing to a fulfillment partner with a strategic geographic location can improve shipping times and reduce costs while allowing the business to scale more easily with fluctuating demand without the commitment of long-term leases or the expense of hiring and training additional staff.

Moreover, partnering with an experienced fulfillment provider can give access to advanced technology for inventory management, order processing, and tracking that would require significant investment to develop in-house.

In summary, outsourcing order fulfillment is an appropriate strategy when a business’s growth and scale begin to impair its ability to efficiently handle operations internally, when it limits strategic focus on core competencies, or when working with a partner can offer cost-efficiency and improved customer service.

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